For years in Garfagnana the chestnut was considered a kind of fruit extremely important for the population survival in this area. The poet Giovanni Pascoli himself, in one of his works “Castanea”, recall the chestnut tree: “The bread tree”.
At the beginning of the XIX century in this area there were more the 18000 hectares of land with chestnut cultivation, but in the ‘50es the economic development led people to give up this activity and move into different fields. Nowadays in Garfagnana there are about 3000 hectares of land with chestnut cultivation, developed up to an altitude of 1.200 meters where we can find magnificent specimen 600 years old and tall 10 meters. For people living in Garfagnana these cultivations are really important for few reasons: represent a source of income, concur to recover and maintain the environment and the architectural heritage like mills and metati (huts used to stock and dry the chestnuts), concur to keep alive the old traditions and the culture, stimulate the development of all those activities connected to them (from production to sales and beyond).
In 2004 “the chestnut flour” from Garfagnana (also called “farina di neccio”) has been rewarded with the European mark D.O.P. (Protected Denomination of Origin). “The chestnut flour” from Garfagnana is a certified product and it’s gluten free.